This series of work began spontaneously enough. Thinking back, there was, as there usually is, simply a need to put something down on paper; that need, included working small; 6” x 6” to be exact. The imagery kept coming and I worked feverishly until it felt as though I pushed this series as far as I could (for the time being anyway). I also used colored pencils as my medium; applied with a heavy hand. I do not feel that every piece is exactly where I would like it to be, however, that being said, I did feel it important to display the series in its entirety in order to show the process, which is also why I kept track of dates and images appear accordingly.
The title of this body of work, “The 300.00 Series” is based on the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”, or the “DSM-IV” that is currently used by those in the mental health field. Although I did not begin this series with that title in mind, it seemed most fitting as time wore on. Every diagnosis in mental health, as in the medical field contains codes based on a diagnosis. 300.00 is the code used for Anxiety Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified); which is the sort of ‘blanket term’ used when another of the anxiety disorders cannot be clearly identified. I believe this title to be most fitting based upon the imagery as well as some of the titles used. Some of the other titles, on the other hand, are humorous and/or based on songs as a sort of poking fun at one’s self, while still relating to the anxious/nervous self.
I also find that the small spaces these figures are assigned to create a sort of inevitable containment, which is also indicative of the inner workings of their minds; think Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. I find that creating abstract figures that focus less on realism and more on emotion is not only more satisfying for me as an artist, but allows the viewer to possibly relate in some personal and unexpected way.
I am influenced by a variety of artists and styles that specifically include Surrealism as well as Expressionism. Some of my favorite artists include the female Surrealists such as Remedios Varo and Frida Kahlo as well as Color Field painters Mark Rothko and Helen Frankenthaler (who happened to pass away on the day I was making one of the images, thus the title “R.I.P. Helen”).